Atari Lynx Console
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Atari Lynx Console
Atari Lynx Console. The Atari Lynx is a 16-bit handheld game console that was released by Atari Corporation in Japan in 1990. The Lynx holds the distinction of being the world’s first handheld electronic game with a color LCD. The system is also notable for its forward-looking features, advanced graphics, and ambidextrous layout. As part of the fourth generation of gaming, the Lynx competed with Nintendo’s Game Boy (released just 2 months earlier), the Sega Game Gear and NEC’s TurboExpress, both released the following year.
The Atari Lynx’s innovative features include being the first color handheld, with a backlit display, a switchable right-handed/left-handed (upside down) configuration, and the ability to network with up to 17 other units via its “Comlynx” system (though most games would network eight or fewer players). Comlynx was originally developed to run over infrared links (and was codenamed RedEye). This was changed to a cable-based networking system before the final release.
The Lynx was cited as the “first gaming console with hardware support for zooming and distortion of sprites”. Featuring a 4096 colour palette and integrated math and graphics co-processors (including a blitter unit), its pseudo-3D color graphics display was said to be the key defining feature in the system’s competition against Nintendo’s monochromatic Game Boy. The fast pseudo-3D graphics features were made possible on a minimal hardware system by codesigner Dave Needle having “invented the technique for planar expansion/shrinking capability” and using stretched, textured, triangles instead of full polygons. These particular features were achieved over a year prior to the launch of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, whose stock hardware features the comparable Mode 7 but which can’t scale sprites.
Buttons: Two sets of fire buttons (A and B) Two option buttons (OPTION 1 and OPTION 2) Pause button (OPTION 1 + Pause = Restarts the game OPTION 2 + Pause = Flips the screen, which allows the Lynx controls to be reversed) Power on light (Not on original Lynx; indicates unit is on) Power on button Power off button Backlight button (Not on original Lynx; turns off the screen, but does not turn off the game. This saves electricity use when a game is paused) Joypad: Eight directional Controls: Volume Brightness Ports: Headphones (mini-DIN 3.5mm stereo; wired for mono on the original Lynx) ComLynx (multiple unit communications) Power (9V DC, 1 A) Game card slot Battery holder (six AA).
Awesome Little retro machines.
Atari Consoles, Atari Lynx